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Letter from the publisher

Dear Writers & Readers,

To survive as a community, as an art form, as an industry, as a company…we have had to re-imagining our role as a publisher and how best to serve our community of artists and readers. We have structured and restructured over time as the industry changed shape and we are evolving again.

From 2016 – 2020, I had the opportunity to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the largest trade association for publishers in the United States, the Independent Book Publisher’s Association. During my time there, one of the more controversial issues we took on at the time was the creation of Hybrid Publishing Houses and how to hold those publishers to the same standard we would expect from a traditional trade publisher. 

During my tenure, I represented Homebound Publications, which follows a traditional distribution format, and brought my experience of that model to the table. However, I was fortunate to learn the hybrid model from industry vanguards. The publishing industry has been turned on its head by supply-chain issues, a global paper shortage, hostile corporate retailers, indie bookstore closures during the pandemic, and the overall corporate consolidation of the industry—narrowing indie voices even further.

I have been involved in the hybrid discussion since my time with the board of the IBPA. In 2018, during my time with the Board, we drafted the first iteration of IBPA’s Hybrid Publisher Criteria, a list of nine criteria defining what it means to be a professional hybrid publisher. In 2022, the 9-point list of criteria was updated and expanded to an 11-point list via a process that included the current IBPA Board of Directors approvalcharting the way for us.

Hybrid publishing models (when done to standard) have always been about self-agency, self-advocacy, and going beyond the gatekeepers. I find this new option for publication is in alignment with the community of writers and readers I helped to found nearly fifteen years ago. 

Connor Wolfe, Founder & Publisher of Homebound Publications & Wayfarer Books

learn more about us

At Wayfarer Books & Homebound Publications, we believe poetry is the language of the earth. We believe words—like rivers through wild places—can change the shape of the world. We publish poets and writers and renegades who stand outside of mainstream culture—poets, essayists, and storytellers whose work might withstand the scrutiny of crows and coyotes, those who are cryptic and floral, the crepuscular, and the queer-at-heart. We are more than just a publisher but a community of writers. Our mission is to produce books that can serve as a compass and map to all wayfarers through wild terrain.

Re-imagining Our Role as Publishers > Understanding the Structure of Our Company

Homebound Publications is our founding division and follows a traditional publishing model. We have full distribution and sales representation through Publishers Group West, a division of Ingram Publisher Services.

Wayfarer Books is a division devoted to a PTO model (print-to-order, forming known as print on demand); we print through Ingram and have wholesale availability to the trade retailers (Amazon, B&N, Indie Bookstores, etc.) via Ingram. Most importantly, our titles are offered at the standard terms expected by retailers from the larger houses.

Wayfarer Books (Hybrid-track)  Is our latest imprint offering a hybrid route for those authors who are willing to subsidize their own project to help shoulder the financial investment in the project, allowing us to take on the project that would otherwise be impossible due to lean budgets. Wayfarer Books’ Hybrid Track is operated as a PTO/POD model; we print through Ingram and have wholesale availability to the trade retailers (Amazon, B&N, Indie Bookstores, etc.) via Ingram. And, as with all our imprints, We offer our titles at the standard terms expected by retailers from the larger houses (45% – 55% Discount and Full Returnability). 

Wayfarer Magazine is our magazine that offers serialized and short content. 

What is Hybrid Publishing?

In short, a publisher utilizing an author-subsidized business model rather than taking on the entire financial investment alone.

In a traditional publishing model, the author submits their manuscript, and if chosen by the circle of editors for publication, the author is extended a royalty contract (for between 7-10%), and the publisher takes on the financial investment alone. 

Following the hybrid track, an author submits their manuscript, it is reviewed by the circle of editors and, like with all submissions, we will determine if the book will suit our library, and if chosen for publication, we will extend a contract (for 25% royalties to the author) and the author pays the hybrid-track fee to help offset the investment for the book. 

Hybrid publishing companies behave just like traditional publishing companies in all respects, except that they publish books using an author-subsidized business model, as opposed to financing all costs themselves and, in exchange, return a higher-than-industry-standard share of sales proceeds to the author. A hybrid publisher makes income from a combination of publishing services and book sales.

Although hybrid publishing companies are author-subsidized, they differ from other author-subsidized models (i.e., self-publishing service providers) in that hybrid publishers adhere—without exception—to IBPA’s Hybrid Publisher Criteria. Regardless of who pays for editorial, design, and production fees, it is always the publisher that bears responsibility for producing, distributing, and ultimately selling professional-quality books.

IBPA’s Hybrid Publisher 11-point Criteria

  1. Define a mission and vision for its publishing program.
  2. Vet submissions. 
  3. Commit to truth and transparency in business practices.
  4. Provide a negotiable, easy-to-understand contract for each book published.
  5. Publish under its own imprint(s) and ISBNs.
  6. Publish to industry standards
  7. Ensure editorial, design, and production quality.
  8. Pursue and manage a range of publishing rights.
  9. Provide distribution services.
  10. Demonstrate respectable sales.
  11. Pay authors a higher-than-standard royalty.

IBPA’s Hybrid Publisher Criteria points to functions that a reputable hybrid publisher is expected to perform. It’s up to each hybrid publishing company to figure out and explain, how it performs each function. An author-subsidized business model in no way relieves a publisher of its editorial, design, marketing, sales, and distribution responsibilities.

submit your work

Submitting your work doesn’t guarantee publication. As with the traditional track, there is still a review process to consider if the manuscript is right for our publishing house.

Current submissions turnaround is 6-8 weeks. A limited number of late 2024 slots remain for poetry. Non-fiction is booking into 2025. Please, no fiction.

Poetry (Hybrid Track) 

 All-inclusive Package $3500

(Sliding scale available for authors with limited income.)

  • Professional  Custom cover design 
  • Custom interior design for up to 140 standard pages (if your poetry manuscript is over 140 pages, you will need to work with an editor to cut it down)
  • E-book file conversion and parallel distribution through retailers including Kindle, Nook, iTunes, etc.
  • Copyright filing with the Library of Congress
  • ISBNs under Wayfarer Books provided for all editions
  • Ongoing print management for the lifespan of your book
  • Management of title metadata for the lifespan of the book
  • Fulfilment of all orders on short-run printed books (author or customer pays shipping)
  • Proofreading of your final manuscript

  • Wholesale availability of your title to 40,000+ trade retailers (indie bookstores, Amazon, B&N, Bookshop.org, iTunes, etc.) through our distribution partner, Ingram, at the terms retailers expect. 

  • Guidance on getting your books into bookstores, libraries, and other trade outlets. 

  • Feedback on social media placement and platform building.

Nonfiction (Hybrid track)

All-inclusive Package $5000

(Sliding scale available for authors with limited income.)

  • Professional custom cover design 
  • Custom interior design for up to 70,000 words (if your manuscript is over 70k words, you will need to work with an editor to cut it down)
  • E-book file conversion and parallel distribution through retailers including Kindle, Nook, iTunes, etc.
  • Copyright filing with the Library of Congress
  • ISBNs under Wayfarer Books provided for all editions
  • Ongoing printing & title management for the lifespan of your book
  • Management of title metadata for the lifespan of the book
  • Fulfillment of all orders on short-run printed books (author or customer pays shipping)
  • Proofreading of your final manuscript

  • Wholesale availability of your title to 40,000+ trade retailers (indie bookstores, Amazon, B&N, Bookshop.org, iTunes, etc.) through our distribution partner, Ingram, at the terms retailers expect. 

  • Guidance on getting your books into bookstores, libraries, and other trade outlets

  • Feedback on social media placement and platform building.

Contact

Find our titles in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats, wherever books are sold. 

Location

Northampton, Mass.

Phone

860.574.5847

Email

info@homeboundpublications.com

Contact

Find our titles in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats, wherever books are sold. 

Location

Northampton, Mass.

Phone

860.574.5847

Email

info@homeboundpublications.com